Bipolar disorder in teens

Bipolar disorder in teens defined

Bipolar disorder in teens is a mental disorder that causes dramatic shifts in a person’s behavior, thinking, and energy. Bipolar disorder in teens creates ever changing periods of mania and depression. These periods vary from person to person and symptoms may appear at any point during the teenage years.

Awareness of the signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder in teens is crucial to getting your teen the help they need. Failure to recognize symptoms  of bipolar disorder in teens can result in poor school performance, deterioration of peer and family relationships, and suicidal ideation. Most manic and depressive episodes last a week or two, and sometimes more. Symptoms during these periods last all day for most of the day. 

bipolar disorder in teens

Image source: flickr user- gagilas

Teens going through a manic episode may:

  • Behave unusually happy or silly
  • Demonstrate risky behavior
  • Experience insomnia, but don’t feel tired
  • Rapid speech, interrupting others
  • Have trouble focusing, being attentive
  • Short temper

Depressive episodes in teens are characterized by:

  • Feelings of sadness and isolation
  • Sleep a lot or too little
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Disinterest in previously enjoyable activities
  • Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • Thoughts of death and suicide

Several factors may cause bipolar disorder in teens. These factors include:

  • Genetic: If immediate family members have bipolar disorder, bipolar disorder in teens is more likely to develop.
  • Anxiety disorders: Teens with anxiety disorders are more likely to develop bipolar disorder.
  • Abnormalities in brain structure and function: Imbalances in brain chemistry may play a role in bipolar disorder.

Researchers still don’t know what causes bipolar disorder exactly. However, ongoing research will help future bipolar patients in getting the correct treatment.

The ViewPoint Center treats bipolar disorder in teens

The ViewPoint Center, a psychiatric hospital for teens ages 12-18, provides diagnostic assessments and specific treatments for teens with emotional and behavioral issues. At the ViewPoint Center, once a teen is diagnosed, the necessary treatment plan is put into place by ViewPoint’s experienced, caring team members. ViewPoint treats bipolar disorder in teens, as well as eating disorders, anxiety disorders, and many more mental health struggles.


A 2015 study conducted by researchers at Yale University recently found that the brains of bipolar disorder in teens develop differently than the brains of teens without bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder in teens has an abnormal development in areas of the brain that help regulate emotions.

“In adolescence, the brain is very plastic so the hope is that one day we can develop interventions to prevent the development of bipolar disorder,” senior study author Hilary Blumberg, a professor of psychiatry, diagnostic radiology, and of psychiatric neuroscience at the Yale Child Study Center.

Contemporary article

An article in the University Herald discusses a new test scientists have developed  to tell the difference between bipolar disorder in teens and depression. Sometimes, patients with bipolar disorder get misdiagnosed with depression because of the similar symptoms displayed during the depressive cycles within bipolar disorder. The new test scientists is based around six biomarkers they identified that tell the difference between the two mental issues. There is an 89-91% chance of predicting each disorder with this test.

Bipolar disorder in teens defined by...

Brains of Teens With Bipolar Disorder Develop Differently: Study